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Friday, December 2, 2022

SaaS startup Lummo secures investment from Jeff Bezos in its Series C funding round

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ personal investment firm, Bezos Expeditions, has invested in an Indonesian direct-to-consumer SaaS startup. Lummo, formerly known as BukuKas, secured the amount as part of its Series C round of funding.

Lummo raised $80 million in its Series C round in January, led by new investors Tiger Global Management and previous backer Sequoia Capital India.

According to records with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), it has received $3 million so far from Explore Investments LLC, a company believed to be associated with Bezos Expeditions. Lummo may acquire further cash from the company due to the fact that firms normally receive capital in tranches.

Lummo founder and CEO Krishnan Menon said in a statement, “We are honoured to have Jeff Bezos’ support in this Series C investment round as we position our company for exponential development in the next months and years.”

Menon stated that the funding will enable the business to expand its product offerings through technology breakthroughs such as chat commerce, catalogue integration, custom domains and websites, multiple platform administration, and customised branding features. The CEO described Bezos’ investment in Lummo as a “confirmation of the excellent work” that Lummo offers to Indonesia. He, however, declined to discuss the specifics of future collaboration in the aftermath of the investment.

Bezos is no stranger to Indonesian ventures. He made his first bet in the country with Ula, a B2B marketplace that received $7 million from Bezos Expeditions.

According to Swarup Gupta, an industry manager at The Economist Intelligence Unit, such a move reflects a “increasing acknowledgement of initiatives to formalise small retail forms across emerging Asia. The success of Bukalapak, as well as initiatives by other players such as Reliance’s Jiomart from India, show that this will remain a prominent trend in the next years.”

Hedosophia, the secretive venture capital firm led by Ian Osborne, also participated in Lummo’s Series C transaction. According to regulatory records, the investment firm invested $3.55 million in the Indonesian business in February. Hedosophia had already invested $30 million in Lummo for the year 2021.

The startup ecosystem in Indonesia is gradually attracting the attention of global behemoths, with Google, Microsoft, and Facebook already investing in the island.

“With 65 million micro, little, and medium enterprise players in the market, the money being moved here is undoubtedly enticing.”

That is why, according to Nailul Huda, a researcher at the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF), “many investors are interested in investing in platforms that target MSMEs.”

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